Southern Fiber Reads

Posts Tagged ‘Fiction

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from Donita K. Paul’s book Dragons of the Valley.

“Sir Beccaroon sensed the turmoil in the Amber Palace as soon as he landed on the roof.  He shook his feathers, cocked his head, and tried to discern exactly where the commotion centered.”         — p. 19

Heading off now to read everyone else’s teasers!  Happy Reading!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

This weekly Meme is hosted by Sheila on Book Journey.

What I read last week:

  • Finding True Freedom by Ginny Dent Brandt
  • More Than Conquerors by Kathi Macias

What I’m reading this week:

  • Dragons of the Valley by Donita K. Paul
  • A Celebration of The Simple Life by Wanda E. Brunsetter

What I will read next week:

  • Rebekkah’s Journey by Ann Bell
  • Red Ink by Kathi Macias

So there you have it!  My reading lineup for three weeks!  Head over to Sheila’s blog via the link above to find out what she – and others – are reading!

Also, I had a very kind comment from Kathi Macias on my More Than Conquerors review below.  She would love to hear from you!

In the second installment to her Extreme Devotion series, Kathi Macias takes us to Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California in her book More than Conquerors.  Hector Rodriguez and his family minister to the people of Tijuana through the church that Hector pastors.  He is faced with the trials of inner city gang crime, an unbelieving father who lies dying in a hospice home north of the border, and a mother who has surrendered her life to spread the gospel to a remote Mayan village a great distance away.

Marty is a young college graduate from San Diego.  He has served as a short term college missionary in Tijuana alongside Hector Rodriguez’s family.  Unsure of the path God has chosen for him, Marty decides to spend an undetermined amount of time in Tijuana with the Rodriguez family.  Determined not to fall in love and have the distraction of a woman as he tries to follow Christ, Marty finds himself struggling with the direction God may be leading his life.

When Hector’s mother disappears, everyone is heartbroken, but no one is surprised.  After all, the Mayans are deeply rooted in their ancient beliefs, and they do not like outsiders in their village.  Especially outsiders who talk of “conquistadores”, as Hector’s mother has in the Bible verse Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”  Hector must choose to continue his work for Christ as pastor of his church, or protect his family.

This book was intense in every aspect – the gang violence in Mexico.  The heartbreaking truth of an ancient people that will not let go of their superstitions, fears, and beliefs.  The fear of a man who is torn between following God, even if it means facing unknown dangers, and protecting his beloved wife and children.  The struggle of a young man who will do anything to follow God’s will for his life.  More intense than any of these, however, is God’s power and ability to overcome fear, and God’s incredible way of bringing good out of tragedy.  Though this book is heartbreaking and sobering, I enjoyed everything about it, and learned much about myself – and God the Father – in the process.  Macias has done an excellent job in her second book in this series, and I can’t wait to read the third!

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Hope Publishers (April 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596692839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596692831

Legal Necessities:  I received this book for free from Kathi Macias.

South Africa, 1989.  Apartheid.  One of the darkest moments in the history of humanity – the minority whites rule over the blacks and coloreds that make up the majority.  Here lies the setting for Kathi Macias’ novel No Greater Love, the first installment in her Extreme Devotion series.

Chioma, a servant for an Afrikaner family, finds herself struggling with her feelings for Andrew, the white son of the master of the farm.  Andrew also tries to fight the feelings he feels growing inside himself for Chioma.  Orphaned for four years when her parents, ANC supporters, were killed, Chioma has seen her share of tragedy and injustice.  Chioma has suffered as a part of the system of Apartheid her entire life, and finds it impossible to trust any white man and – more so – their God.  Andrew, living a life of privilege as the son of an Afrikan farmer, also tries to understand the meaning and scope of the Apartheid system his father holds allegiance to.  Andrew and Chioma’s lives become intertwined and tragedy surfaces yet again, making a martyr out of the most unlikely person.  Chioma then finds herself torn between fighting for her cause and learning how to forgive.

In this story, Macias explores the depth of Apartheid and the effects this system of government had not only on the blacks and coloreds, but also on the whites that wielded power and control for decades.  Throughout the story, the characters try to justify their actions and beliefs as they relate to those of the races opposite from their own.  Introspection and circumstance even force some to question how God feels about the system of Apartheid that has come to be their culture and way of life.

In this truthful glimpse into a world so many still do not understand, God’s love and forgiveness, as well as His desire for equality and love for all mankind, are illustrated even more beautifully than the pictures of the South African countryside painted in words by Macias.  In a culture driven by evil, hate, and separation, Macias shows that God can break down barriers that man alone cannot.

I must admit that I ate up this story!  My father traveled to South Africa as a missionary during the years of Apartheid, and I remember growing up hearing his stories of racial segregation that plagued this beautiful country for years.  I also have a deep love for Africa as a continent, and pray daily for His word to be heard and believed by all who call Africa their home.  For this reason, I have a special attachment to this novel.  I had no idea how much I would enjoy this novel, but I can tell you honestly that it’s one of the best stories and most well-written that I have read in a long time.  I highly recommend you pick up this novel and discover for yourself not only what Apartheid meant to the people of South Africa, but what God’s grace and power can do in the most impossible of events.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Hope Publishers (April 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596692774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596692770

**Legal Necessities:  I received this book for free from Kathi Macias.

Daniel has come home.  As Daniel arrives at his brother’s wedding reception, he surprises and delights his parents.  Oh, he surprises his brother Tim, too, but I wouldn’t exactly say Tim is thrilled that his brother has returned.  He is, of course, the brother of the “Prodigal Son”.  In the days to come, Daniel and his family struggle as they try to mend the broken hearts and broken relationships that resulted from Daniel’s years of absence without a word.  The appearance of Lane, a mysterious woman from Daniel’s past, cannot help matters, either.  Will Daniel find the forgiveness and love he seeks from the family he left?  And is he the only Prodigal in this contemporary retelling of the Biblical parable?

In this true to life short story written by Robin Bayne, readers will find characters much like people they may know themselves.  Maybe the reader will identify with Daniel, his parents, or his brother.  However you relate to the characters and events in this story, it’s hard to miss the redeeming love of God the Father that is evident throughout the story, and the sobering fact that only God is able to mend what we humans cannot.

Bayne has put a fresh face on an old Sunday School story.  Parables are not just stories meant to blandly teach a truth about Jesus – they really are lessons that can be applied daily in every one of our lives.  I recommend this story, and I know if you read it, you will be re-awakened to the truth of God’s love and forgiveness, just like I have been.

  • Publisher: White Rose Publishing; First White Rose Edition edition (January 8, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003CT2ZBS

**Legal Necessities:  I received this eBook for free from Robin Bayne.

FoolsRushHaving gone through my very own wedding this year, I appreciate the work put into my wedding by people like Bella Rossi, a wedding director, coordinator, and the main character in Janice Thompson’s book Fools Rush In.  This title is book one in the Weddings By Bella book series written by Thompson.

Bella Rossi and her family are about as Italian as the Corleones, complete with pizza, mob ties, and large groups of people that have nothing short of a constant boisterous time together.  Bella’s parents pass the baton of their wedding business to their daughter, and Bella gets her feet wet with a true blue Texas wedding, cowboy boots and all.  I think we can all agree that Italian and Texan are about as different as, well, pizza and tacos.  There’s just one thing though – she needs a DJ, and fast!  This predicament lands her a DJ, for sure, but this means the excitement and surprises are just beginning.

Throughout this story, Bella struggles with trying to pull off a wedding whose theme she has no idea about.  Will Bella’s faith give her the strength and energy she needs to live up to the role her parents have given her?

I must say I absolutely loved this book!  It was light, refreshing, and full of laughs.  I also learned a lot from how Bella used her faith to guide her daily.  Thompson has done an excellent job of telling a delightful story while also delivering a Christ-centered message to the reader.  I recommend this book to the ladies, as I think you will love it, too!  The characters are endearing, the story is great, and I cannot wait to read the second book and see what more is in store for Bella, the wedding business, and Bella’s family.  Guys… well, let’s just say this book is the equivalent of the movies you hope girls don’t make you watch.  Happy reading – and it will be happy reading with this book!

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell
  • ISBN-10: 0800733428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800733421

**Legal Necessities:  I received this book for free from Janice Thompson.

bos-cafeSteven Kerner thought he had it all together, but his wife and daughter knew better.  His coworkers knew better.  Even the guy sitting beside him at the bar knew better.  But in Steven’s mind, he had all the success and fortune he had dreamed about, and for him, that’s all that mattered.

Then he blows up at his wife and she kicks him out.  Steven’s seemingly perfect life all of a sudden comes crashing down around him.  Where can Steven turn?

In Bo’s Cafe, John Lynch, Bill Thrall, and Bruce McNicol reveal the heartaches and emptiness that often accompanies worldly successful executives who are content to join in the rat race and continually climb the proverbial ladder.

Turns out the guy beside him at the bar, Andy, may have a way to get Steven’s life straightened out.  Steven thinks Andy looks like the local president of the Parrothead Club, but begrudgingly tries to forge a friendship with the stranger.

Through a series of conversations with Andy and Andy’s friends, Steven discovers that his life really wasn’t all that he had convinced himself it was.  Steven had pushed everyone, including himself, away from his true self.  Even Steven couldn’t figure out what was causing all of his problems.  Will Steven discover what it will take to get his family, and his life, back?

This novel reveals that worldly success may not be the answer to everything, and may not even be the answer to anything, for that matter.  I highly recommend this novel.  I learned some things about myself, not just through Steven and Andy, but through the others as well.  It is an incredible story, and I fell blessed after reading it and I believe you will, too.  Pick up a copy as soon as you can – you will not regret it!

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Windblown Media (September 25, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 193517004X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935170044

**Legal Necessities:  I received this book free of charge from Windblown Media.

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The books on this blog have been sent to me directly by either the publisher or the author. I paid nothing for these books. I received them free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I received the books only - no monetary compensation was given or received by either me nor the author or publisher. The copies I review are considered review copies or Advance Reader Copies. I will note in each post if I received a copy of the book for free from either the publisher or the author. If no such notation is made, then I purchased the book myself, was given a copy of the book by someone I know, or I checked out a copy from my local library. I am displaying this disclaimer in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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